Australia is fighting back against ransomware

Department of Defence

Australians continue to be targeted by cybercriminals through ransomware campaigns impacting multiple sectors across our economy.

Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon Andrew Hastie MP, said the Government is tackling cybercriminals head-on to support Australian organisations and individuals from cyber compromise.

“In 2018 the Australian Cyber Security Centre was established within the Australian Signals Directorate as the standing taskforce that combines the expertise of foreign and domestic law enforcement and intelligence agencies to fight cybercrime,” Assistant Minister Hastie said.

“The Australian Signals Directorate has used, and will continue to use, its broad range of offensive cyber capabilities to disrupt and bring cybercriminal syndicates targeting Australia to their knees. Offensive cyber is just one of the tools in Australia’s toolkit.

“The ACSC provides vital advice and assistance to defend Australian businesses and individuals against ransomware, and brings together the Australian Signals Directorate’s intelligence, offensive cyber and cyber security capabilities to defend Australia’s interests from malicious cyber actors.

“The ACSC takes the information it learns from cyber attacks against Australian businesses, and uses it to warn and protect further Australian organisations from being targeted.

“Under the Cyber Security Strategy 2020, the Australian Government is strengthening Australia’s capability to counter cybercrime with a $164.9 million investment,” Assistant Minister Hastie said.

Ransomware is one of the most damaging types of cyber attacks, which can have severe and long-lasting impacts to Australian organisations and their operations. But prevention is better than cure, and with cyber security the best offence is often a strong defence. Companies and organisations need to have protective measures in place that will make it harder for cybercriminals to harm their business.

The ACSC has published a ransomware Prevention and Protection Guide, and Emergency Response Guide. The guides are available at cyber.gov.au/ransomware.

“I encourage Australian organisations to report their ransomware incidents to the ACSC so we can protect and warn all organisations and build better overall cyber defences for ‘Team Australia’.

Any cybercriminal operating on the dark web or hiding behind encryption should be on notice that the full range of Australia’s intelligence and law enforcement capabilities are being aimed at you”, Assistant Minister Hastie said.

Cybercrime can be reported through ReportCyber which is managed by the ACSC on behalf of law enforcement agencies, providing a single online portal for individuals and businesses to report cyber incidents.

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